No matter how unhappy or unwilling, the rules were the rules. The reason why Zou Qingyue said these words was simply to complete her mission. She wasn’t there to request their feedback.
After pointing out a few matters, Zou Qingyue and the other two Immortal realm martial artists brought the sole inner sect disciple, He Chengfeng, as well as his subordinates, and left this place.
They left the other nine outer sect disciples and numerous nominal disciples right where they were, all of them looking conflicted.
This… What should they do now?
Cang Yu paused for a bit, before approaching Gongyi Tianheng. He spoke fairly politely: “Young master Tianheng, the sect is so strict, do you have any plans?”
Tianheng cracked a smile: “I can’t be sure about my other plans, but right now, why don’t we find a place to settle down?”
Seeing how tranquil he was, Cang Yu’s heart was moved, and he smiled: “Young master Tianheng is right.”
When Huangfu Zhanghao saw this, he smilingly sent his best regards to Tianheng.
Afterwards, this group of former pampered young masters and imperial descendants behaved themselves and handled matters according to the rules. Based on Zou Qingyue’s statements, they brought their own subordinate nominal disciples to the middle of a wide courtyard at the rear of that little hall — Using their outer sect disciple tokens, they could open up their own personal mini-courtyards.
The martial artists quickly parted ways, prepared for the beginning of their new lives.
Gu Zuo followed Tianheng as they entered a courtyard that was relatively wider than the others. Apparently, it seemed a bit better than the other martial artists’ courtyards.
Walking into the yard, one could see a central building with a dozen or so side rooms. Overall, they were all very clean and orderly. As for the courtyard itself, there was a large tree on the right, its leaves spread out like clouds, sheltering a small piece of the courtyard. On the other side of the central building was an approximately two square meter field of black soil, which was lined with a fence. It could probably serve as a medicinal garden.
Tianheng only brought three people when coming here. Dragon One and Dragon Two could each take a side room, and Gu Zuo could take one for himself as well. However, because of his unique circumstances, he would still be living in the same room as Tianheng.
As for the side room that would’ve been reserved for Gu Zuo, it would be turned into a specialized room for medicine refinement and connected to the central building by Dragon One and Dragon Two.
In order for them to settle down as quickly as possible, they started tidying up one after another.
Apart from a portion of Tianheng’s things brought by Dragon One and Dragon Two to fool the others, the rest were all within Gu Zuo’s storage space. They were set out just as Gu Zuo accompanied Tianheng.
Tianheng said: “Ah Zuo doesn’t need to attend to me. First take out your medicine refining tools.”
Gu Zuo nevertheless remembered the heavy responsibility placed on himself. As he nodded, hearing what was said, he promptly connected his consciousness to the system. Within a few moments, a couple large and small pill refining cauldrons and kitchen implements for refining medicinal decoctions and cuisines were all set up in the previously empty side room.
Afterwards, there was a rumbling sound in the room. Three large cabinets and more than ten large chests suddenly fell to the ground, practically taking up half the space in the considerably large side room.
Gu Zuo couldn’t help but be speechless.
Previously, he didn’t think much about the things in his storage space, but after taking them out, he discovered… Ah, he might have squandered some of his family’s money.
This wasn’t the same as refining medicine, okay? Just the types of herbal medicine packed up were so great. In his storage space, he still had a section customized for wild beast meat, and a section for other types like scales, eyes, poison sacs — Things that were seldom used in medicine and other such medicinal ingredients. Then there was a section for things that were quite precious. They could be counted as rare medicinal ingredients that were heavenly, ancient treasures.
With a cursory calculation, besides the things hunted by the Tianlong Guard around the clock, the other things were obtained after spending more than one million gold.
— All this was the equivalent of him being a nouveau riche devouring the family holdings!
All of it was paid for by his dear big brother…
Tianheng looked at his stunned expression. He only had to ponder a bit to know what Gu Zuo was thinking about. He couldn’t help laughing, and just said: “When Ah Zuo refines those medicinal herbs, they can either be used to nurse my body or I could sell them. No matter what, our gains can only grow larger, and this is all the while not wasting a single bit.”
Gu Zuo dryly laughed.
In fact, it was because he was too poor in the modern era… Cough.
Looking at things that were worth lots of gold always made his eyesight blurry.
When the pharmacy was settled on this side, Gu Zuo followed Tianheng to their room. This central building was divided into an inner and outer area, and each had a long chaise. Tianheng directly set about to move the outside chaise into the inner room for them to rest at night. As for the outer room, it would be customized for treating Tianheng’s illness — For example, he could soak in the medicinal decoction every once in a while.
The current Gu Zuo wasn’t like before, who found it embarrassing. In any case, he got used to it. They were both men anyways; there basically wasn’t any need to bother about such things.
Afterwards, from another part of his storage space, Gu Zuo withdrew half of his big brother’s clothes to hang in the wardrobe, his writing utensils and paper were also put on the nearby desk. Other miscellaneous items, such as, the tea set, things that regulated temperament like musical instruments, all of them were taken out.
After busying himself for a while, the central building was finally presentable.
Although the central building was inferior to the Gongyi Clan’s ancestral residence and villa by an entire level, if it was just used as a place to sleep, it was good enough.
Gu Zuo let out a satisfied sigh: “Big brother, please bear with it for now.”
He, himself, felt that the conditions were actually pretty good, but he didn’t know if his aristocratic big brother could adapt to this kind of “poor and simple” lifestyle.
Tianheng smiled: “Will Ah Zuo be treating me like a pampered and spoiled kid?” As he said this, he shook his head, “After unpacking, I still need to go to that field of black soil and scatter the seeds…”
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
Gu Zuo understood instantly.
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As a matter of fact, weren’t these the clothes those farming martial artists were wearing previously? Apparently, this should’ve been the outer sect disciple’s uniform?
Then that would mean, his big brother’s adaptability was really quite strong.
Time was limited. Tianheng brought Gu Zuo and the others and directly walked towards the land surrounded by that mountain range.
According to what was written in the <<Introductory Handbook>>, the black soil fields of new disciples were all generally in the same place. Each was in the vicinity of a mountain peak and every piece of farmland was encircled with warning talismans. Apart from the farmland’s owner and his subordinate nominal disciples, if anyone else entered, the warning talismans would activate and record that person’s activities, and transmit them to the disciplinary hall. If that person caused any property damage, the people of the disciplinary hall would punish them.
It wasn’t long before they reached their destination, when Gu Zuo saw a piece of fertile land — He didn’t think about it while on that enormous flying ship, but looking at it now, that tract of land wasn’t small at all.
It was about ten mu of land. Reportedly, this black soil was the best for growing Scarlet Blood Rice. In the most perfect conditions, one mu could produce about 2.5 kilograms. That was a total of twenty five kilograms of rice from ten mu. From this, 12.5 kilograms would be handed over to the sect, and the rest would be returned to them. However, how could the real situation be so perfect? Even if a martial artist gave it his all, the average mu of land would ultimately produce a little more than one kilogram. After deducting ten kilograms, would there be anything left?
Gu Zuo sighed.
This sect was black hearted. Genuinely greedy.
However, Scarlet Blood Rice really was a good thing. When martial artists practiced, they needed qi and blood. As more time passed, the more they needed to eat foods that had sufficient qi essence. Most of all, after reaching the Xiantian realm, even using things that were ordinary would be harmful to themselves. It looked like this Scarlet Blood Rice was a kind of rice that could be provided to Xiantian martial artists as a food product.
Assuming a martial artist could eat Scarlet Blood Rice for every meal, then the energy of the brimming qi and blood could boost the rapid growth of their cultivation, strengthen a martial artist’s body, and warm a martial artist’s meridians. Each benefit was by no means an isolated case. Unfortunately, it seemed that it was impossible for these outer sect disciples to be provided with Scarlet Blood Rice. If they wanted it, then they could only grow it themselves.
It’s just, how many kilograms could be produced in only one month? It was probably good for a hundred grams a day, but for the average martial artist, that was barely considered enough. So long as the martial artist was just a little bit stronger, they could only use their own money to go buy some more.
Based on Tianheng’s appetite, he needed to eat at least one kilogram per day. He could be rated as the paragon of competitive eating champions.
…Just thinking about this would make people feel faint.
Just as Gu Zuo sighed in lament, Tianheng was squatting down off to the side. He used his fingers to grasp a pinch of soil, and then he kneaded it: “There’s no time to lose. Based on the words of the Introductory Handbook, we need to till the soil and start sowing the seeds.”
Receiving their orders, Dragon One and Dragon Two respectfully saluted: “Yes, young master!”
After they finished speaking, the two parted ways to a field black earth in front. Their hands held wooden hoes, their waists bent, and their heads lowered. They were already working cautiously and conscientiously.
Tianheng faintly smiled, and rolled up his sleeves.
After that, he also walked up to a mu of field and lifted up a wooden hoe.
Gu Zuo: “…”
This intense feeling of dissonance…
Forget about it. He followed after them, too.
But evidently, Gu Zuo underestimated Tianheng, and overestimated himself.
Although Tianheng had always been a noble, young master, when he used the wooden hoe to till the fields, his efficiency was even better than Dragon One and Dragon Two. On the contrary, Gu Zuo felt that he was someone who worked hard and could endure hardships. While his work looked good, his speed was roughly less than half of Dragon One and Dragon Two.
Gu Zuo was speechless.
Ordinarily, he was very confident in himself when he refined pills, but he was really a weak vegetable when cultivating a field.
When talking about farming, his big brother had this much talent.
After heaving a sigh, he continued working.
Fortunately, the Scarlet Blood Rice wasn’t a particularly finicky plant. With a martial artist’s accurate eyesight and movements, one could easily finish tilling a field without making a wrong turn. As for this plant, it only needed to be irrigated with strange water at set intervals. The maturation period only needed twenty eight days, and the harvest was actually quite fast.
In the process of tending to these plants, some people’s talents were shown. They could shift the maturation period to an earlier date or increase the Scarlet Blood Rice’s bounty after maturing. Ultimately, the results obtained were substantially different.
Currently, it just so happened that every start of the month was the introductory period for new disciples. It was also the time for sowing the Scarlet Blood Rice. Thus, what Gu Zuo previously saw were the many martial artists working in full swing.
This period of manual labor lasted two hours. Dragon One and Dragon Two each finished tilling two and a half fields. Tianheng tilled four fields. And Gu Zuo…miserably completed only one field.
Sure, everyone completed the preliminary task, but when Gu Zuo looked at the others’ achievements and then compared them to his own again, a burst of shame bubbled up in his heart.
He was truly weak.
Tianheng saw his ashamed appearance, and pulled him over to ruffle his hair: “Ah Zuo has already done his best. Ah Zuo is only a pharmacist, after all. Your strength can’t be compared to a martial artist’s. With your disposition, you shouldn’t do this kind of work. In the future, you won’t have to do it. I brought ten million in golden banknotes, and I have countless medicinal ingredients.
“Refining medicine in the courtyard and raising your proficiency is Ah Zuo’s task. Ah Zuo working, this time, is already the greatest kindness. But after today, you won’t need to do this again.”
After Gu Zuo heard this, he silently nodded: “…I’ll refine many more pills.”
One could say that through today’s farming, he at least realized he was a burden. Rather than personally putting effort into menial tasks, he was better off going back to think about how to improve field production. This was in line with his profession as a pharmacist.
Mentioning this, he vaguely remembered that in <<Human-Level Medicinal Decoction Formulas>>, there were several pages in particular explaining how to breed medicinal herbs. Perhaps he could go back to properly flip through the dietary ingredient’s sections, and refine those medicinal decoctions customized for the Scarlet Blood Rice?
En, he’d certainly study them carefully. When that time came, he would give his big brother a nice surprise.
Following that, Dragon One and Dragon Two were in charge of sowing the seeds. On the contrary, Tianheng was sitting cross-legged off to the side with his back straight. He started to continuously operate his cultivation method, absorbing the ambient qi.
Within the Qingyun Sect, the free-floating ambient qi energy was more than ten times stronger than the levels in the Cangyun Empire. The accumulation of qi energy was naturally even faster. With six sets of bone pearls within Tianheng absorbing it together, no amount of extra qi was enough for him to use.
This sect’s situation was too complicated. For the sake of this moment, only the continuous improvement of one’s strength could ensure the foundations of one’s everything from here on out.
Gongyi Tianheng didn’t dare slack off in the slightest.
Gu Zuo watched him, and similarly went to sit down.
Actually, he’d already been at perfect Houtian stage nine for quite some time. After experiencing the matter of the Hundred Countries Tournament, he didn’t dare mention how many insights he gained, but his first-hand knowledge and scope of understanding had substantial increases. Not to mention, he wasn’t like Tianheng who condensed six sets of bone pearls all at once. He had a total of only one set, so he thought it was a bit premature to break through to Xiantian.
But now? He felt he could give it a try.
He also wanted to take this opportunity to condense that previously impossible first Heavenly Spirit bone pearl and officially advance to the realm of Xiantian stage one all in one go!
Perhaps it really was an opportunity in the end. Through Gu Zuo’s unyielding heart and continuous absorption of his storage space’s stockpiled medicinal qi, the seventy two bone pearls in his body let out a resonant low hum as if they were in harmony.
Suddenly, his Dantian twitched. He only felt the surging of a powerful current precipitously appear from it. Wrapped up in no less than twelve strands of medicinal qi, his first Heavenly Spirit acupoint was frantically pounded!
Gu Zuo’s psychic power was also strongly affected.
At this moment, his true qi and psychic power seemed to resonate. At last, his seventy third bone pearl formally took shape in a Heavenly Spirit acupoint!
In the blink of an eye, from this entire set of bone pearls, which ran through his whole body, each bone pearl formed an intangible connection with his psychic power. His psychic power also seemed to have made a breakthrough. The volume of gelatinous psychic power in his mind was more than ten times as much as before. He even felt that he already touched upon the realm of a profound mystery.
The life force of the world… The reproduction of all living things…
The river of time flowed on… Drawn to…
Drawn to what?
It seemed he wasn’t able to grasp that spark of comprehension.
However, Gu Zuo was already very content. It was only thanks to this spark that he smoothly advanced to the Xiantian realm.
Though his strength was worthless, and physically fighting someone was definitely out of the question, they were no match for his hugely improved psychic power!
He even felt that if it were before when he refined medicinal pills, the current him could simultaneously handle ten to eighteen cauldrons with no problems. A shot of his psychic power’s silver needle could directly stab a person into a hornet’s nest. If he used a silver drill, he could chain a delivery of several hundreds. Moreover, the silver needles and silver drills were even more concentrated. Compared to before, their might was even stronger.
Suppose the might of a silver needle from before was one unit and a silver drill’s might was one hundred units. The current silver needle’s might was ten units, and the silver drill’s might was more than one thousand units.
To compare the effectiveness, if the previous attacks were best aimed at the enemy’s brain, then the current ones could be shot anywhere at the opposing martial artist’s physical body. As long as the other didn’t have an especially refined body, the attack strength was basically the same as the sharpness of a blade.
Detecting his own strength’s rapid rise, Gu Zuo opened his eyes and let out a satisfied sigh.
Very good. He wasn’t so bad that he’d hinder his big brother!
After that, his gaze met a smiling pair of eyes, as well as an exceptionally handsome face that would make the moon pale in comparison.
Gu Zuo: Ah, big brother, leaning in this close with that handsome face is cheating.
He quickly realized why Tianheng wanted to get so close to him.
Because Tianheng extended a finger to softly rub his face.
Gu Zuo instantly blushed.
But once he saw Tianheng’s fingertip dripping with bits of black, it wasn’t just his face that reddened, his whole body practically turned red.
His breathing was heavy… He was so embarrassed.
Tianheng chuckled: “Congratulations, Ah Zuo, for advancing to Xiantian.” He subtly paused, “I’ve already had Dragon One draw some water. Ah Zuo, why don’t you go back to…take a bath?”
Gu Zuo was in a tizzy.
He wanted to cry, but the tears wouldn’t come. He sprung right up: “Got it, big brother! I’ll go at once!”
Afterwards, he scampered away. With his head lowered, he went straight where they came from.
When a martial artist advanced from Houtian to Xiantian, the impurities of their flesh were discharged once more. Xiantian flesh was thoroughly clear and faultless; one was pure and bright, inside and out. It could be counted as parting the muscle and washing the marrow.
As for the process for this internal purge of impurities, it was inevitable to become like Gu Zuo’s current appearance: Dripping in black from head to toe.
After Gu Zuo rushed into the courtyard, he still felt mortified.
He completely forgot about the tragic consequences of breaking through outside. Not to mention letting others see him in this state of being covered in black goop, but others might have thought he was so happy that the skin on his face cracked because he was smiling too widely.
Although he didn’t feel that he was as attractive as his big brother, and that as a man, he didn’t need to think about the standards of one’s outward appearance — But! He was still hopelessly tangled up… No wonder his big brother’s smile was so joyful. It was because he amused him.
At this time, Dragon One walked out of a room. After first saluting, he said: “Pharmacist Gu, your bath has already been prepared. After you.”
Gu Zuo stiffened again. He promptly nodded his head and, with a dash, he swiftly leaped into the central building. After that, he threw his whole body into the bathtub.
Ah! He needed to scrub himself clean before his big brother came back!
Of course, Gongyi Tianheng was still very good at understanding others. With just one glance at Gu Zuo’s indignation, he didn’t go over to tease his little pharmacist again. He intentionally dithered around outside for the next ten minutes before going back in very slowly.
That brief period of Gu Zuo breaking through actually took a little more than two hours. During that time, their Scarlet Blood Rice seeds had been scattered long ago. The reason why he stayed there was merely for the sake of giving this silly Gu Zuo some protection.
Presently, Tianheng finally walked into the courtyard and stood outside the central building: “Ah Zuo, can I come in?”
Gu Zuo’s voice echoed from within, still carrying a hint of embarrassment: “Oh! Big brother, you can come in! I’ve already…” Finished bathing.
Tianheng laughed, and lifted his foot to walk in.
Just as he’d entered, he caught a glimpse of his rosy faced little pharmacist whose skin was even brighter than before.
Gu Zuo had changed into the uniform for nominal disciples. Sitting cross-legged on his own chaise, he tried to feel just how much power this time’s upgrade gave.
After looking at Tianheng, his face was still a little flushed. However, compared to that feeling of wanting to dig a hole in the ground just then, it was nevertheless a big improvement.
Tianheng didn’t mention the matter of “taking a bath” again. Rather, he walked over and carefully scrutinized the current Gu Zuo.
Gu Zuo was influenced by his attitude and gradually calmed down.
Tianheng then asked: “Ah Zuo, what did you sense when you advanced to Xiantian?”
It was very rare for a pharmacist of the Tianwu Continent to advance to Xiantian. In addition, whenever there was an advancement, the process took time. The chances of coming across danger was even greater than martial artists. However, Gu Zuo’s advancement seemed very easy. Although his body constantly exuded a black substance, his face never had the smallest look of suffering.
Gu Zuo thought about it: “It felt very comfortable.”
Comfortably warm like soaking in something. That spark of comprehension emerged very abruptly like a sudden epiphany. Once he figured it out, he broke through.
After Tianheng listened to his detailed description, he muttered to himself.
He couldn’t understand this kind of situation… Apparently, his current knowledge base had already become insufficient. He should go to the outer sect library to look at some cultivation methods soon. Reading some books was also in order.
Just at this time, a voice suddenly came from outside.
Dragon Two promptly walked to the front of the doorway, and respectfully reported: “Young master, the outer sect’s manager has come to meet in person.”
Tianheng’s liveliness returned. Outer sect manager? Many Introductory Handbooks all had written records. It wasn’t likely for there to be further instructions.
But he still quickly set forth, and walked out.
Sure enough, the courtyard’s outer door contained the figure of a short, obese martial artist. There was a smile across his face. Although his strength was already Xiantian stage one, he didn’t rudely bust his way in.
At this moment, he saw Gongyi Tianheng walk closer, and his smile grew even more enthusiastic: “Are you junior sect brother Gongyi? This humble senior sect brother serves as an outer sect manager. Today I’ve come to collect this month’s harvest of Scarlet Blood Rice.”
T/N: Congratulations, you all get a double-length chapter.
Thanks, Charysa, for the corrections.
Finally, we got our first fan-art for IHM. Thank you, @xai_ice!
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